I remember my parents talking fondly about their boating trips to the Norfolk Broads in the 50’s and 60’s, so trying it for myself has been on my agenda for many years. Interestingly, once we’d booked it, everyone I spoke to who has been described it as one of their best ever holidays, and those who hadn’t almost universally said it is something they want to do one day. Little wonder then that over 3 million people holiday in the county each year.
I have to admit I was a little nervous about handling the boat, especially as we had elected to go for a larger boat – a 35 footer with bow and stern cabins. But in the event, I found it quite easy, once I’d got the hang of he delay between inputs and output. Mooring is a relative doddle as well, as everything happens very slowly, and our boat was equipped with bow thrusters.
I’d describe our Brinks Concerto as a 4 or 5 star boat – we had satellite TV, two bathrooms with showers, a couple of televisions and everything else we needed for a week of comfort. All we had to bring was clothes, food, drink and fishing gear. The boat was even equipped with WIFI, but sadly it wasn’t very effective and often struggled to get a signal. I’d paid £15 for a larger data plan, but that ran out before the week was up, and given the sporadic coverage, I didn’t bother to renew it. That said, it was actually quite nice to completely switch off!
It’s like a holiday in a touring caravan, on the water as opposed to being on the road. Equipped with a chart, you’re basically free to explore over 100 miles of waterways and large lakes, called Broads, which were created by peat excavations years ago. You can moor up in towns and villages, usually for a small daily or overnight charge, and many of the moorings offer an electric hook up. But if you don’t want to pay, and prefer to be away from other boats, you can simply drop a mud anchor in any of the Broads and spend the night there, or take advantage of many of the free moorings you’ll see all over the place. You need to keep the water tanks topped up and once or twice a week you need to empty the waste tank – there are plenty of boat yards where you can do both – the former costs £1 to £3, and the latter from £15 to £18.
The wildlife is astonishing – we saw so many different types of birds, otters, a deer and plenty of fish. The pubs in the villages are fabulous, and the whole experience was great fun.
I’d recommend a Broads trip to anyone who wants the ultimate relaxation holiday – you’ll spend a week largely outdoors, disconnected from the world and doing everything very slowly. If that floats your boat (!) do get in touch – we can price you a trip on all the different types of boat on offer.